Clarification Sought on CAF Build-out Deadline Extension


Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc. (PRT) has filed a petition with the FCC requesting a declaratory ruling clarifying that Section 54.320(d)(2) of the Commission’s rules applies to recipients of Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase I Round 2 funding.  In May 2013, the FCC adopted rules requiring recipients of CAF Phase I Round 2 funding to deploy broadband-capable infrastructure to two-thirds of the required number of locations within two years of accepting funding, and to finish deployment to all required locations within three years.  However, in December 2014, the FCC amended its rules in Section 54.320(d)(2) to give CAF funding recipients an extra twelve months to meet their final build-out milestone deadlines.  Although Rule 54.320 as originally adopted applies to all recipients of high-cost and CAF support, PRT argues that the FCC did not specify whether the twelve month grace period was intended to apply to recipients of Phase I Round 2 funding, in addition to Phase II funding recipients.  PRT therefore seeks clarification that Phase I Round 2 funding recipients are eligible for the same deadline extension for build-out as Phase II recipients.  The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on PRT’s petition.  Comments are due April 28, 2017, and reply comments are due May 15, 2017.

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